This is a historic document from the Village of Woodlawn 2003
Chief of Police Walter Obermeyer
1998 to Present
The Woodlawn Police Department under the direction of Chief Walter Obermeyer, is staffed by 17 sworn officers and a police clerk. The WPD provides basic safety and security services for the entire community around the clock, seven days a week. It is also a component of the area’s “mutual aid” system and therefore provides police support to surrounding communities on an as-needed basis.
Since embracing the “Community-Oriented Policing Services” philosophy in 1995, the department has expanded by adding two full-time officers. The addition of a Canine Unit and Bike Patrol have also increased the Department’s overall effectiveness, while significantly impacting officers’ visibility in the community. The Bike Patrol has facilitated patrolling of less-accessible areas, such as parks, wooded residential areas and sections of the community without sidewalks or paved road. The Canine Unit has been especially useful in investigating alarms at local businesses and is frequently called upon to assist neighboring municipalities.
The Police Department’s mission is not only to provide community policing services to the Village, but to be a visible, proactive, user-friendly and approachable presence for all residents. To that end, it has many educational and community outreach programs designed to increase awareness, facilitate and improve public safety and foster a positive partnership with Village residents. Current programs include the Neighborhood/Business Crime Watch, Rape Awareness and Prevention Seminar, bicycle registration, elderly checkups and safety fair.
The revived DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program is operating at both the Woodlawn Elementary and Lincoln Heights Baptist Church schools. In addition, the WPD’s Citizens’ Police Academy provides not only community outreach but the opportunity for residents to learn more of the WPD’s operations.
It is incumbent upon the Village to evaluate the increased demands which will be placed upon the WPD by current and future commercial and residential expansion, and the possible annexation of a neighboring village. Recruitment and retention issues, the need for increased staffing levels, both of sworn officers as well as support personnel, and ongoing training requirements must be addressed if a consistently high level of service is to be maintained.